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entertain    : [,ɛntɚt'en] [,ɛnɚt'en]
Entertain \En`ter*tain"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Entertained}; p.
pr. & vb. n. {Entertaining}.] [F. entretenir; entre between
(L. inter) tenir to hold, L. tenere. See {Tenable}.]
1. To be at the charges of; to take or keep in one's service;
to maintain; to support; to harbor; to keep.
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You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred. --Shak.
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2. To give hospitable reception and maintenance to; to
receive at one's board, or into one's house; to receive as
a guest.
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Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby
some have entertained unawares. --Heb. xiii.
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3. To engage the attention of agreeably; to amuse with that
which makes the time pass pleasantly; to divert; as, to
entertain friends with conversation, etc.
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The weary time she can not entertain. --Shak.
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4. To give reception to; to receive, in general; to receive
and take into consideration; to admit, treat, or make use
of; as, to entertain a proposal.
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I am not here going to entertain so large a theme as
the philosophy of Locke. --De Quincey.
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A rumor gained ground, -- and, however absurd, was
entertained by some very sensible people.
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5. To meet or encounter, as an enemy. [Obs.] --Shak.
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6. To keep, hold, or maintain in the mind with favor; to keep
in the mind; to harbor; to cherish; as, to entertain
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7. To lead on; to bring along; to introduce. [Obs.]
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To baptize all nations, and entertain them into the
services institutions of the holy Jesus. --Jer.

Syn: To amuse; divert; maintain. See {Amuse}.
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Entertain \En`ter*tain"\, v. i.
To receive, or provide entertainment for, guests; as, he
entertains generously.
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Entertain \En`ter*tain"\, n. [Cf. F. entretien, fr. entretenir.]
Entertainment. [Obs.] --Spenser.
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v 1: provide entertainment for
2: take into consideration, have in view; "He entertained the
notion of moving to South America" [synonym: {entertain}, {think
of}, {toy with}, {flirt with}, {think about}]
3: maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings); "bear a grudge";
"entertain interesting notions"; "harbor a resentment" [synonym:
{harbor}, {harbour}, {hold}, {entertain}, {nurse}]

100 Moby Thesaurus words for "entertain":
accommodate, admit, allow, amuse, amusement, bear, beguile, bestow,
billet, board, bosom, cater to, cherish, cling to, clip, consider,
contemplate, convulse, cultivate, delight, disport, dissipation,
distraction, diversion, divert, divertissement, do the honors,
domicile, embosom, embrace, enjoyment, enliven, entertain guests,
entertainment, exhilarate, feed, fondle, foster, fracture one,
gaiety, give a party, gladden, gratify, guest, harbor, have,
have and hold, hold, hold on to, host, house, hug, inquire into,
invite, keep, kill, knock dead, lodge, loosen up, maintain,
nourish, nurse, nurture, occupy, play, please, pleasure, preside,
put up, quarter, raise a laugh, raise a smile, receive, recreate,
recreation, refresh, regale, rejoice, relax, relaxation, relief,
room, see about, slay, sleep upon, solace, sport, support, sustain,
take under advisement, take under consideration, think it over,
throw a party, tickle, titillate, tolerate, treasure, treasure up,
treat, wow

Entertainments, "feasts," were sometimes connected with a public
festival (Deut. 16:11, 14), and accompanied by offerings (1 Sam.
9:13), in token of alliances (Gen. 26:30); sometimes in
connection with domestic or social events, as at the weaning of
children (Gen. 21:8), at weddings (Gen. 29:22; John 2:1), on
birth-days (Matt. 14:6), at the time of sheep-shearing (2 Sam.
13:23), and of vintage (Judg. 9:27), and at funerals (2 Sam.
3:35; Jer. 16:7).

The guests were invited by servants (Prov. 9:3; Matt. 22:3),
who assigned them their respective places (1 Sam. 9:22; Luke
14:8; Mark 12:39). Like portions were sent by the master to each
guest (1 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:19), except when special honour was
intended, when the portion was increased (Gen. 43:34).

The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial
entertainments (Ex. 34:15), because these were in honour of
false gods, and because at such feast they would be liable to
partake of unclean flesh (1 Cor. 10:28).

In the entertainments common in apostolic times among the
Gentiles were frequent "revellings," against which Christians
were warned (Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3). (See {BANQUET}.)

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English Dictionary  2005-2009

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